Three True Outcomes: Key MLB Matchups for Friday (May 26)
Three True Outcomes highlights a trio of crucial matchups for today’s slate. We might strike out or settle for a walk, but we’re also going to hit our fair share of home runs. Ideally, this article will give your MLB DFS lineups and sports betting card a boost.
Man, thought we were getting a big number from Oakland on Tuesday. Two quick runs on the board in the 1st inning and then … completely silent. Frustrating.
Shane Bieber’s Underlying Numbers vs. Cardinals’ Red-Hot Offense
Bieber’s surface-level numbers are solid. His ERA sits at 3.08 and he’s gone at least six innings in 7-of-9 starts. Bieber has allowed more than three runs just once and is coming off an 8-inning gem against the Mets.
The underlying metrics paint a different picture. Bieber is 2nd percentile in average exit velocity and 5th percentile in hard-hit rate, leading to a 4.92 xERA. His 17.8% strikeout rate is the lowest of his career by a mile (previous low was 24.3% as a rookie in 2018).
St. Louis has been rolling in May. The Cardinals are 1st in OPS, SLG, wOBA and wRC+ vs. RHPs this month.
SUMMARY: Bieber is due for a blowup. This is a great spot to target the Cardinals and they’re getting completely ignored. Every hitter is under 3% projected ownership.
I’m taking the St. Louis team total Over 3.5 (-118 on FanDuel).
Matthew Liberatore’s Uncertain Role vs. Cleveland’s Anemic Offense
Sticking with this game, it’s unclear what St. Louis is doing with Liberatore. He didn’t live up to the prospect hype last season (5.97 ERA over 34.2 IP) but his return to the majors went well (5 shutout innings against Milwaukee last week).
The solid start didn’t earn Liberatore a firm spot in the rotation, as the Cardinals used him out of the bullpen on Sunday. The St. Louis starting pitchers have combined for a 5.01 ERA, so it seems like they should make room for Liberatore.
Cleveland is the top matchup for SPs and handedness doesn’t even matter. The Guardians are dead last in OPS and wOBA vs. righties AND lefties.
SUMMARY: The usage has been annoying, but we know Liberatore will be out there today. He makes for a solid, cost-efficient SP option. If you’re stacking the Coors Field game, Liberatore’s price tag is intriguing.
Mitch Keller’s Recent Form vs. His Massive Salary
Keller is 5th in NL Cy Young odds right now. What a sentence. Caesars actually has him even with some dude named Clayton Kershaw for the 4th-best odds.
Keller has fired off nine straight starts of 3 ER allowed or less and struck out at least eight in his last five outings. The sites aren’t messing around with his price, as FanDuel made Keller the most-expensive SP and DraftKings has him just behind Kevin Gausman for the top spot.
Seattle has been solid against right-handed pitching but do project to have seven hitters with strikeout rates above 24% vs. RHPs in the lineup.
SUMMARY: Keller isn’t anywhere near the projected ownership of the other aces (Gausman, Hunter Brown, Freddy Peralta, etc). He’s an excellent pivot with comparable upside. If you have the funds, it’s worth mixing some Keller into your player pool.